The Arsenal Ladies have scooped their sixth successive title thanks to a wonderful ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ on Merseyside.Suzanne Grant volleyed home the only goal of the game from four yards in the 13th minute and, although the Gunners had to withstand some heavy Everton pressure, they hung on to wrap up the victory.Having already won the FA Cup and the League Cup this term, the win complete the Ladies’ domestic treble.It is the perfect way for Vic Akers, who is stepping down as Ladies manager in the summer, to sign off. He has scooped an incredible 32 major trophies since forming Arsenal Ladies in 1987.
The manager made no changes to the side that lifted the FA Cup less than a week ago. That meant Jayne Ludlow took the armband alongside Katie Chapman in midfield. Further forward, Gemma Davison, Rachel Yankey and Kim Little supported Grant up top.It was the hosts, chasing their first title in 10 years, who went closest to opening the scoring in the early stages. However, Emma Byrne got down well to Jill Scott's firm downward header in the fourth minute.But, a little under 10 minutes later, the Gunners made the breakthrough with their first menaingful attack of the contest. Everton keeper Rachel Brown failed to deal with a dangerous corner and Grant lashed home from close range.Shortly afterwards, Davison and Yankey both tested Brown from long-range as Arsenal searched for some breathing space.Everton finished the half much the stronger and the visitors had Byrne to thank for a racing off her line to deny Scott. The English midfielder then drilled a low effort narrowly wide.The hosts continued to pile forward after the interval but inspired performances from centre-half duo Gilly Flaherty and Ciara Grant continued to deny them.If their failure to create gilt-edged chances wasn't problem enough for Everton, they lost topscorer Natasha Dowie to injury in the 76th minute.In the end, with Everton throwing everything forward, the Gunners could have snatched a second on the break with Little and substitute Helen Lander both going close for Arsenal in the closing stages.More superb defending from the visitors was to follow and Everton could not muster a title-winning goal.So, Arsenal Ladies are champions again.
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